A potential class action lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs claiming damages from defective airbags in Hyundai and Kia motor vehicles. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit mere days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it would investigate more than 12 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles because of problems with the ZF-TRW airbag systems according to a report appearing on carcomplaints.com. A judge in the court where the plaintiffs filed the case must certify the lawsuit as a class action.
Both Kia and Hyundai recalled many vehicles because of problems with the ZF-TRW airbag deployment system. The vehicle model and years subject to recall are 2013 Kia Forte, Kia Forte Coup, 2013 to 2019 Kia Optima, 2012 to 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid, 2014 Kia Sedona, 2013 to 2019 Hyundai Sonata, and 2013 to 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
The lawsuit avers, among other things, that the application specific integrated circuit can be overloaded during a crash. If the circuit is overloaded during a crash event, the air bags may not inflate, and the seatbelt pretensioners may not lock, thus endangering the vehicle’s occupants. The plaintiffs allege that Hyundai and Kia knew about the problems since 2011 and failed to do anything about it. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Hyundai and Kia concealed that information until 2018 when it was finally exposed.
The NHTSA has been involved with this issue since 2015 in some capacity. At that time, according to CarComplaints.com, the car manufacturers downplayed the significance and scope of the problem. However, the NHTSA commenced an investigation into Hyundai’s defective airbags after six people sustained serious injuries and four people died when their vehicles’ safety equipment failed to work.
Finally, the lawsuit alleges that the automakers value profits more than the safety of motorists and that the recall campaigns started by both companies are too narrow to ensnare all of the defective vehicles manufactured by Hyundai and Kia.
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